Before I started writing, I was a medical scientist. My days were spent at a laboratory bench and my watchwords were accuracy, meticulous technique, mathematical precision and rigorous quality control!   These are great traits for a medical scientist because there is nothing worse than having racks loaded with urgent special stains, for instance, and then finding you've run out of the reagent you need next.

Nothing was left to chance.

If it was within my control, then controlled it would be.


My ducks were always lined up!












So... when I started writing, I expected to be able to translate this ruthless organisation over to my creative process.

It didn't work!

For a long time, I felt hamstrung, a creative push-me-pull-you, unable to make headway in any direction.   My internal medical scientist wanted to fill out character charts, plan the order of each scene, line up the ducks in order of height, weight, colour, feather type. Any measurable characteristic would do. While my muse was bored! She wanted to dive right in, scatter the ducks across the pond, see where they ended up. See what they looked like from this angle or that angle. Or from underneath! She was a rebel! And my medical scientist thought she was a pain in the... you-know-what!

Luckily, about the time things were getting a bit fraught, I discovered Stephen King's autobiography, On Writing.   I realised it was okay to let go, not to know everything, to boldly go!

It's not comfortable... but it's the way it is!

LoveCats DownUnder, 15 April 2010